44% of Small Businesses
Still Don’t Have a Web Site 2009-06-28 05:32:23
Over at Frank Thinking, contributing Pilgrim Frank Reed shares
a study that reveals just why it’s so hard to get small
businesses to break their local newspaper/yellow pages advertising
Then why shocked?? Why? Because they’re still using
the darn things! Even though a staggering 44% of small businesses
don’t yet have a web site–with 78% of them spending
5% or less on internet advertising–there is some hope
that small business owners are (finally) waking up to the
* 23% say they use the Yellow pages less
* 42% say they use the local newspaper less Over the past
43% of small businesses say they have increased use of search
engines in their marketing efforts. In contrast, use of traditional
small business advertising mediums is on the decline:
While 82% of consumers turn to the search engines when finding
a local business, only 69% of small business owners do the
same. I’m shocked! Either the glass is half empty (will
small businesses ever "get" the internet) or half
full (small businesses are a hot target for marketers). What’s
your take on the numbers?
AD Tracking The Overlooked
Key To Your Success 2008-02-09 12:39:55
Though often misunderstood, ad tracking is at its core a
process for simply counting how many people respond to a particular
advertisement. Typically this tracking is usually done by
tracking the number of clicks or visitor actions.
Using ad tracking (also known as analytics) on your own site
can be done using via Active Server Pages (ASP), Common Gateway
Interface (CGI) or Personal Home Page (PHP) script - or can
be done through a third party ad tracking service provider,
also known as remotely hosted servers or through a combination
of these. Software of this type ranges from free – as
in the case of Google Analytics (at the time of this publication)
to twenty five thousand dollars a month for the very high
end tracking solutions.
Ad tracking platforms & software vary but all monitor
the traffic coming onto your site and the results or goals
achieved from this traffic, and can mean the difference between
making little to no money on your site, and making a killing.
Ad analytics tracking software relate traffic directly to
marketing activities and then translate those activities into
measured results, giving you the ability to calculate a return
on your advertising dollars spent. Ad tracking also monitors
the clicks that you receive for all your advertizing campaigns,
such as e-mail marketing, banner ads, affiliate programs,
classified advertising, bulletin board, e-zine advertising,
forum, links on other websites, pay-per-click ads, among others.
Some tracking software also offers integration into legacy
systems, sales management, customer profiling, and scheduling.
With most service providers and software.
It is possible to set up an unlimited number of tracking
links or URLs in advertisements, such as on a web page, in
an email, a pay per click ad, etc. Ad tracking helps save
time and maximize results from your marketing expenditure
by giving you access to the following information:
• Number of visits generated by each of your ads
• Number of unique visits generated by all of your ads
• Which ads generate the most visits and the most sales
• Number of sales (or other actions) generated by each
• Cost-per-click, cost-per-sale and click-to-sale ratios
for each ad
• Return on investment for each ad, so as to know which
• Organization of the important details about your ad
campaigns Overall, ad tracking is an invaluable tool in understanding
the response to any promotions you run in your messages or
in your website.
But the real hidden advantage of ad tracking is targeted
conversion improvement. Lot's of businesses just don't get
this but if they did, their profits would skyrocket! For example
let's say that your testing indicates that you are running
three news letter ads, in three different newsletters.
If you are tracking your sales, and where they came from
you would have no way of knowing which of these newsletters
pulled better for you and so you'd just keep paying to run
your add in all three.
However, if you track the sales, you might find that newsletter
#1 generated ten sales, newsletter # 2 zero sales, and newsletter
# 3, one sale.
Now if you made a profit of $50 per sale and each newsletter
ad cost $50.00, you're your ad newsletter #1 made you $500,
your ad in newsletter #2 COST you money, and newsletter #3
you broke even on. With this information you can quickly see
where your ad is working and where it's not.
Using the example above you would be better served by taking
the money you spent on newsletter # 2 and advertising elsewhere.
Ad tracking gives you the power to know where your advertising
is working, where you are making money and where it's being
This allows you to focus your advertising budget on only
the ad sources that are profitable. Here are some of the better
tracking solutions on the market. The depth of features offered
varies by price, but all will allow you to track your ads
and make more money.
The bottom line is that if you are not testing and more importantly,
tracking your advertising results, you could be leaving money
on the table. Worse yet, you could be losing money. The take
away here is do not even consider spending a dime on advertising
until you have a tracking mechanism in place.
Are you noticing huge
crises in your traffic sales less searches in advertising
and search results 2009-04-15 20:39:02
The whole world is currently affected due to the crises and
recession in each and every field. I have been noticing a
fall down everywhere in my client's search engine's traffic.
This recession has specially affected US and UK customers
who are feeling this heat. They are avoiding unnecessary expenditures,
fun times, tourism, spending money, keeping money in banks.
Similarly, peoples are avoiding searching or shopping now
This is only a prediction but when I researched on it, I
found some interesting facts which I am sharing here: Rimm-Kaufman
posted data which is a summary showing people are avoiding
searching for products and services to purchase, leading to
fewer sales, which is also impacting the whole PPC campaigns
and budgets. Yes! This is all related to this global recession.
• Approximately 20% reduction in sales from search ads
from last year
• Approximately 20% reduction in his costs from search
ads from last year
• The average order value from search ads dropped 10%
from last year
• The conversion rate from search ads seemed to remain
stable from last year
• There may be more competition in the space, but hard
I know you are a SEO expert or beginner reading this post.
And, of couse, running your own clients. If you are noticing
a fall down in traffic, please take part here and let us know
if less people are searching and clicking on your ads.
Google's Matt Cutts
Talking How to be visible on Google 2009-04-30 22:05:39
I assume we all SEO know Matt cutts very well. Matt cutts
is the pioneer Google engineer who is responsible for SPAM
checking on Google results. Spam has been implemented on a
huge level these days, and being a SPAM CHECKER he is going
to check with the Google algorithms, search results and manipulate
to deliver the best results out of SPAM. Recently he was interviewed
on "How to get better visibility on Google", Here
is the video:
Make Your Website
a Lead Generating Machine 2009-06-16 05:44:41
Everybody knows one-sided relationships never work. The same
is true with websites. If a website is focused entirely upon
you, you will lose any visitors that may stumble across it.
On the other hand, a website done correctly (one that focuses
on the visitor) can easily become a lead generation machine!
When designing your website, think about these four ideas:
• People are egocentric. Subconsciously they're viewing
your website and thinking, "There's tons of companies
just like you. What are you going to do for me?"
• People love being entertained. If they believe your
website is providing interesting information, you'll have
• People want their opinions valued. This is why most
companies have incorporated a blog or forums-so their customers
can put in their two cents.
• And this is the ticket for generating leads for your
business: visitors want to do something.
Give your visitors something to do. Give them something free
to download. Offer a free report or whitepaper. Ask for their
opinion on a blog entry. Do something, anything, and once
the person responds, you "Require" the following
information: name, address, phone number, and email. Guess
what you just got? A qualified lead. Qualified because they
stayed on your site long enough to take action.
Thinking of building
a fresh website or re-working a current one? 2009-10-22 19:35:02
If you are at the moment thinking about a new internet site
and you would like big visitor numbers for the site then now
is the right time to adopt the services of a search engine
optimization company. The services provided by some of this
organization are necessary if organizations are to validate
the time, effort and cost that will be invested in a new site.
Depending on the difficulty of the website that is about to
be composed or re-worked your spend could rather easily reach
the thousands of pounds mark. If the goal is that the site
brings new customers, leads and business then it could be
the best designed site in the world but if possible customers
don’t get to see it, it’s useless. This is where
the Search Engine Optimization Company comes in.
though more expenditure at this time may not be great it is
absolutely crucial if any investment is going to create results.
You could have the best appealing website in your industry
but if customers do not see it appear on page one of their
searches results all the effort has been in futile. Your competitors
will be occupying the coveted positions one to ten and the
customer will definitely find what he is looking for among
them, meaning that your expenditure in your new website has
If you employ with the Search Engine Optimization Company
at this early juncture they will be able to steer you and
your web designer down the best possible path to make certain
that your site is obvious to the search engines. Whilst this
input without help rarely means that you will achieve page
1 search engine positioning without additional action, it
can radically cut down the amount of money you will need to
spend on Online Marketing once the site is live.
Once the site itself has been optimized to its up most the
Search Engine Optimization Company will then support the site
using a variety of strategies to make certain that the required
Search Engine Placement is attained, i.e. page one of the
search results. They can then continue to hold you on that
page with regular online PR for an indefinite period.
It is possible toban existing website but if this has not
been constructed with optimization in mind then the issue
is more time consuming and therefore costly. Nevertheless
if the existing site already has a valuable number of returning
buyers and a reasonable Search Engine Placement already it
might be better to work with what you have. Either way employ
with them as soon as you can.
Happy Birthday, Digital
Advertising! 27th October, 2009 17:09 PM
The Banner Campaign that Started a $24 billion Business, and
Got a 78% Click-through Rate
Oct. 27 marks the 15th anniversary of the industry's first
banner display ads, which appeared on Hotwired.com. To the
many of you reading this who weren't in the business back
then, that's not a typo; I'm not referring to www.HotWire.com,
the travel site, but HotWired -- the first commercial digital
magazine on the web and the offshoot of Wired magazine.
Its launch in 1994 was not without debate internally as to
whether the ad units offered to the advertiser community should
be simple text links or graphical ad banner units. Graphical
ad display banners won out and the rest is history. And take
a look at the hilarious come-on AT&T used to generate
a click-through: "Have you ever clicked your mouse right
HERE? You will!"
The reaction ran from enthusiastic to somewhat leery. MCI,
as one would expect, was truly supportive of our proactive
initiative. Their corporate culture encouraged exploration.
Volvo, on the other hand, understood the value of our experimenting
with the new medium, but did not want to push/urge any interaction
with the consumer. They didn't know what to expect, did not
know how to handle responses and was concerned legal implications
were involved. As a result, you see the first Volvo ad banner
was nothing more than the Volvo logo and photo of an auto.
No call to action or direction to click was to be incorporated
into the Volvo banner. In fact, if someone clicked on that
banner in October of 1994, it would take them to a simple
questionnaire that could be emailed by the consumer on what
kind of Volvo they might be interested in.
HotWired was the first commercial web magazine to attract
blue chip corporate sponsorships dollars on the web. The site
launched shortly before Netscape's browser, and the advent
of such other new media such as Pathfinder.com (Time Inc.'s
commercial web content offering) and Cnet.com.
Looking back at the birth of this industry and the first
simple graphical banners, I am still amazed at how much has
been achieved in the first 15 years. That said, I anxiously
await the further advancements coming our way in terms of
new ad technologies, ad forms and ad measurement capabilities
(e.g. attribution modeling). The issues surrounding display
banners and online brand measurement are many and have been
well chronicled (see the recent special eMarketer report entitled
The Online Brand Measurement: Connecting Dots for example).
Research suggests we have a long road ahead in terms of measurement
-- and I don't disagree; however, I'm not convinced we're
that far off. I don't believe there will ever be a "silver
bullet" to solve all of our problems, as our industry
is constantly evolving, becoming more complex and proving
to be a moving target. But all that said, from what we have
learned through the use of fundamental building blocks of
acquired knowledge, industry and case studies, the use of
traditional media metrics, the use of existing best measurement
practices for digital and a quest to continually "test
and learn," we will ultimately be successful.
Has any one item in our industry been encased with so much
debate -- at times even disdain -- as to its true value, role
and contribution to marketing communications from its inception
in 1994 to this day? Yet the display banner is the impetus
to the creation of the online advertising category that will
reach beyond $24 billion in 2009, according to eMarketer.
Perhaps more important, no other development since has advanced
advertising measurement, effectiveness and accountability
than the display banner.
So on Oct. 27, I hope you will join me in toasting the birthday
of the banner display ad -- whether you are a "cup is
half-empty" or "cup is half-full" type of person.
Some days I love the business and others day... well, not
so much... but I have to admit: it's been an unbelievable
I leave you with a challenge... Can you guess the two-word
copy from one of the original banner ads that generated 78%
click-through rate? I look forward to your answers.